The network marketing company, that my life partner and I were introduced to, greatly impressed and intrigued us. We were inspired by its’ philosophy, which appeared in alignment with our values. The company was already an international success. Although unfamiliar with the technologies of the product line, we were eager to learn more about them, integrate them into our lives and experience their benefits. We did our due diligence and the company passed.
Having been raised in the film industry, I was aware of the residual income available to actors, directors and writers when their work appears again, especially on television. Although unfamiliar, the idea of residual income that was available through network marketing was attractive. We were toold that in terms of income, the sky’s the limit and that network marketing was a ticket to “financial freedom.” Was this true? We decided to find out and joined the company as independent distributors, when it opened in Canada. As two of its Western Canadian pioneers, we felt excited and we wanted to reap the benefits.
Our learning curve was steep and required a great deal of personal development as a result. I began by confronting the negative images that we had internalized from society that get projected onto sales people. I did not want people to project any of those qualities onto us of being sleazy, pushy, dishonest, unethical, fast talking and insincere. Fortunately that hasn’t happened.
Next, we needed to have a better understanding of the network marketing business model. Here’s a good and clear explanation as we had come to understand it as well:
“Peterson and Wotruba (1996) define direct selling as “face-to-face selling away from a fixed retail location” (p. 6). Direct selling refers to the way a firm contacts and executes business with their customers. Not all direct selling is multilevel marketing. However, within the direct selling industry, there is a common type of compensation plan that is used by many of the leading companies. Sellers are compensated not just for the sales they personally generate but for the sales generated by the people they recruit. Because those involved are compensated down through multiple levels of recruits (i.e., those they recruit, those their recruits recruit, etc.), this type of direct selling is often called multilevel marketing. The recruiting is usually done through personal networking; thus, multilevel marketing is also sometimes referred to as “network marketing.””
We have found that addressing the stigma that surrounds the network marketing industry to be the most challenging, just as it is confronting any prejudice.
This is part of a Blog series, Our Network Marketing Journey: https://businessintegrity.wordpress.com/blogs-2/our-network-marketing-journey/